2018 Year in Review:
22 Americans in ATP, WTA Top 100
Arthur Kapetanakis | December 17, 2018
Love-15: As 2018 draws to a close, USTA.com is taking a look back at the top 15 storylines, headlines and highlights from the year in American tennis. Next up is the American takeover of the ATP and WTA Top 100.
The United States finished 2018 with more players in both the ATP and WTA Top 100 than any other country. Twenty-two Americans earned that distinction, with the total split evenly down the middle between men and women.
On the men’s side, it was the first time since 2003 that 11 American men finished the year inside the Top 100. John Isner’s career year earned him his first ever Top-10 finish at the age of 33, while Steve Johnson (No. 33), Frances Tiafoe (No. 39) and Taylor Fritz (No. 49) round out the Top 50. Tennys Sandgren, an Australian Open quarterfinalist, finished the year at No. ADVERTISEMENT 61 after breaking into the Top 50 for the first time in April.
Isner turned in the standout men’s season of the year, winning his first Masters 1000 title, when he caught fire at the Miami Open, and reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon to earn a career-high ranking of No. 8 in July. He matched his career-best performances at both the US Open (quarterfinals) and the French Open (Round of 16) and won his fifth career BB&T Atlanta Open before ending the year at the ATP Finals in London.
Isner put an end to some early-season struggles with four consecutive Top-25 victories in Miami, powering past Marin Cilic, Hyeon Chung, Juan Martin del Potro and Alex Zverev for the biggest trophy of his career. He later ended his career-long Wimbledon hoodoo by serving past Stefanos Tsitsipas and Milos Raonic to book his place in the last four. That semifinal, against Kevin Anderson, was a marathon battle reminiscent of Isner’s record-setting 2010 match with Nicolas Mahut. This time, Isner fell just short, 26-24 in the fifth set, after six hours, 36 minutes. All together, Isner's results over the course of the year earned him undisputed status as America's leading man in 2018.
In the women’s game, the 11 Top-100 finishers were led by French Open finalist and Miami Open champion Sloane Stephens (No. 6), who reached a career high of No. 3 in July and advanced to the championship match at the year-end WTA Finals. Serena Williams (No. 16) and Madison Keys (No. 17) completed the American presence in the Top 20, while 20-year-old Sofia Kenin (No. 52) and 17-year-old Amanda Anisimova (No. 97) headlined the youth movement (more to come on that later in our Year in Review series). Danielle Collins (No. 36), Bernarda Pera (No. 69) and Taylor Townsend (No. 90) also made their debuts inside the Top 100.
For more American tennis highlights from 2018, be sure to check out our Year in Review page here.